1968 Maton Wedgtail Series 1


Well this is it. The guitarnerd story of the year… I’ve got a GODDAMN SERIES 1 MATON WEDGTAIL!

As regular readers have probably noticed, the stories have slowed right down here at guitarnerd. I’m really sorry about that… it’s not laziness… I’ve been working my butt off and haven’t had the time. Part of that is due to my new ‘one for one’ policy with buying guitars as this adds a whole lot of work to when I want to get something. Plus, instead of buying less guitars… I’ve bought and sold more guitars in the last 3 months than I have in the last 3 years! I’m exhausted.

The story of this particular guitar begins on a Sunday at the Wellington Point Hotel, where I was having lunch with my family overlooking the beautiful Moreton Bay. Chowing down into my massive chicken parmigiana my phone beeped and I saw someone had sent me a message. It was from John, a guitarnerd who I’d sold my G&L SC3 to was looking to buy another G&L SC (they are VERY addictive) so he was selling a couple of old Matons. And one of them happened to be a Series 1 Maton Wedgtail… would I be interested in it? I nearly choked on my chicken.

I replied straight away that “Yes. Yes… I’m very interested in the Wedgtail” and in a few hours photos were sent, a price was agreed on and money transferred. Done and done.

A week later a guitar shaped case arrived at my work. Inside was a guitar I’d wanted for nearly 10 years… a big horn Maton Wedgtail.


In it’s life it had been resprayed black and had a Telecaster bridge pickup added, which meant a little routing had occurred. At one stage it also had a wrap over BadAss bridge added.  Also the headstock had been chopped to look like a Gibson. But it was ALL there. Pickups, the rare chopped Bigsby and aluminium bridge. Even the Maton trussrod cover. And the Stamford case was near mint.

I was over the moon. I couldn’t believe it… I had a Series 1 AND Series 2 Wedgtail! I quickly sold a guitar that was dear and near to me… my 1976 Ibanez Iceman in the rare ‘Korina’ finish. All my friends and family thought I was insane, but I hadn’t played the guitar at a gig since 1997 and it was the EXACT amount to cover the purchase price and restoration. And at the end of the day… I’d rather a Wedgtail than the Iceman, so off she flew to a collector in Germany. Auf Wiedersehen, Iceman.

As it was unplayable as is, I sent the Wedgtail straight to Matt at Matt’s Guitar Service in Morayfield. After seeing the work he had done on Greg T’s Maton’s, I knew Matt was the guy for the job. He is ‘Dr. Maton’.

I briefly considered to get Matt to do it in black as it looked so mean, but decided against it. It was only really an option on the Series 2 shape (though they only made one lefty in that colour) and I wanted this to be all original. So I decided on my favourite Maton colour scheme… the red/black half burst… also known as FireBurst. Along with the Wedgtail, it also appeared on the El Toro. This photo had been posted on my Maton facebook page and I knew this was what I wanted.


After 2 months, all the woodworking had been done and the body was ready for paint. Matt sent me a pic to check if I liked what he’d done…


Holy crap! He’d done the burst slightly higher than the example in the photo I’d sent which I loved as it was an equal split of black and red. Also, the 4 Series 1 Wedgtail’s in the colour I’d seen all had the bursts done differently. Some had a tiny strip of black at the bottom and some had the black on the top and the red on the bottom! There wasn’t a set pattern… it was however the dude holding the spray gun was feeling on the day. Very Maton!

Another few weeks and she was done. I was so stoked with Matt’s service… 3 months to completely restore a vintage guitar to perfection.

I had to wait until the weekend until I could pick it up which was pure torture. But when I finally held it finished in my hands it was a surreal experience. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I’d own on of these guitars. They just never come up for sale. Never. Records show they only made 30 Series 1 Wedgtails, and of those only 10 or so have popped up in the Maton collectors circle. It’s not a guitar you can go… “Oh, I want a Series 1 Wedgtail” and go out and buy one.


Matt had done an AMAZING job. It looked as if it had come out of the Maton factory back in 1968. The paint work was faultless and looked stunning in real life. And the hardware had been polished to perfection. I couldn’t stop looking at it… still can’t!


The headstock was a work of art. Matt had grafted on a piece of maple to the top and reshaped the horn so that it was back to factory original. That shape suits the rest of the guitar perfectly. Plus he’d sourced the correct Maton transfer and even had a spare correct tuner to replace my missing one. Matt’s attention to detail is second to none.


The body is pure 60’s pop-art. Maton’s designers were at the top of their game back then… it’s such a unique looking guitar with the cut down Bigsby and twin scratchplates. I was in love the first time I saw one in 2006… and now I have one?! Crazy.


The neck on this guitar is really thin and narrow… it’s nearly exactly like a Mosrite but with bigger frets. And the whole guitar is light. Even though it’s mahogany, it’s actually pretty thin so it’s a really comfortable guitar. I’ve only had a chance for a quick play through an amp… but one word I’d say to describe it is ‘spanky’… it’s a very Fender sounding guitar. I play rhythm on the neck pickup a lot and then go to the bridge for solos and a bit of twang, so it’s perfect for that. My other Wedgtail on the other hand is a 70’s rock machine… very Gibson sounding. They make a great pair.


I’m absolutely thrilled to have the chance to own one of these Australian classics. A big thanks to John for allowing me to be the custodian of this magnificent bird, to Greg T for delivering her to Matt, to Marcus for supplying the headstock tracing to help bring her back to perfection and finally to Matt at Matt’s Guitar Service for his outstanding work. Now, excuse me…I’m going to shut up now and play my dream guitar.


••• update: Chris has sent in a photo of his Dad playing a Wedgtail back in 1970/71. Photo’s of Wedgtail’s from back then are rare, so I slightly freaked when I saw this. Thanks Chris!